Pitaya or dragon fruit, as it is more commonly known as, is a fruit native to South America. Over time, its cultivation has spread to South Eastern Asia as well, and it is quite a common fruit in the countries of China, Thailand, and Vietnam. The dragon fruit gets its name from the way its peel looks – like the skin of a dragon, yellow or red with green scales.

Although its availability all over the world is pretty limited, its popularity is gaining traction. Commonly found in tropical and subtropical regions, the dragon fruit is one of those exotic fruits that offer a multitude of benefits for your skin, hair, and health.

Dragon Fruit Is Good For You

Image: Shutterstock

Why Dragon Fruit Is Good For You

Skin Benefits

  1. Fights Signs Of Aging
  2. Treats Acne
  3. Soothes Sunburned Skin

Hair Benefits

  1. Treats Colored Hair

Health Benefits

  1. Lowers Cholesterol
  2. Helps With Stomach Ailments
  3. Lowers Blood Sugar
  4. Improves Cardiovascular Health
  5. Helps In Weight Management

Skin Benefits

1. Fights Signs Of Aging

Dragon fruit can be incorporated into your skin care regimen. It helps fight the signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines when used as a face pack once a week.

What You Need

  • 1/2 dragon fruit
  • 1 tablespoon yogurt

What You Have To Do

  1. Scoop out the pulp of the dragon fruit and make a smooth paste from it.
  2. Add the yogurt to the paste.
  3. Apply the pack to your face and neck, and keep it on for 20 minutes.
  4. Rinse it off with lukewarm water.

Why This Works

Aging is caused by the free radicals that are present in our body. These free radicals cause cellular damage that results in wrinkles. Dragon fruit is a rich source of antioxidants (1). It helps fight the free radicals and slows down the aging process. This makes your skin look younger and smoother.

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2. Treats Acne

The topical application of dragon fruit can help reduce acne.

What You Need

  • ¼ dragon fruit
  • 3-4 cotton balls

What You Have To Do

  1. Scrape out the pulp of the dragon fruit, and mash it into a smooth paste using a fork.
  2. Using a cotton ball, dab it on the affected area. To apply it on another area, use a fresh cotton ball so that you don’t spread the bacteria.
  3. Rinse off with lukewarm water after 20 minutes.

Why This Works

Dragon fruit is rich in vitamin C, which is why it useful for treating acne (2), (3).

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3. Soothes Sunburned Skin

Applying a pack made of dragon fruit can help soothe the redness and inflammation caused by the sun.

What You Need

  • ¼ dragon fruit
  • 1 vitamin E capsule

What You Have To Do

  1. Scoop out the pulp of the dragon fruit and mash it with a fork to make a puree.
  2. Puncture the vitamin E capsule and add it to the dragon fruit.
  3. Apply the pack to the sunburned area. Keep it on for 30 minutes for it to be effective.
  4. Rinse it off with cold water.

Why This Works

As mentioned earlier, dragon fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C. A combination of vitamins E and C has been proven to protect your skin against UV rays and soothe sunburns (4).

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Hair Benefits

4. Treats Colored Hair

Colored hair tends to be damaged. The chemicals that lend your hair color also leave it dry and dull. Using dragon fruit for your hair can mitigate some of the damage done.

What You Need

  • 1 dragon fruit

What You Have To Do

  1. Scoop out the flesh of the dragon fruit and process in a blender to make a smooth paste.
  2. Apply this paste to your hair and scalp.
  3. Keep it on for 15-20 minutes, and wash it off with a mild shampoo.

Why This Works

Dragon fruit is rich in nutrients, which is why it works really well on hair that has been colored or chemically treated (5).

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Health Benefits

5. Lowers Cholesterol

Adding dragon fruit to your diet is a great idea because it can help lower your cholesterol levels.

Why This Works

Not all fats are bad for you. In fact, unsaturated fats are an essential part of a balanced diet. Dragon fruit seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fats, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids that help lower cholesterol (6).

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6. Helps With Stomach Ailments

Dragon fruit can help in curing several stomach ailments such as indigestion and constipation.

Why This Works

Dragon fruit is rich in fiber and has a high water content, which makes it ideal for people suffering from constipation (7). It also improves digestion.

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7. Lowers Blood Sugar

Studies have shown that dragon fruit regulates the blood sugar levels in diabetics.

Why This Works

Dragon fruit is a rich source of polyphenols, carotenoids, thiols, tocopherols, and glucosinolates, which help lower blood sugar (8).

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8. Improves Cardiovascular Health

Eating dragon fruit can help in keeping your heart healthy.

Why This Works

Dragon fruit helps in reducing your cholesterol levels, which promotes cardiovascular health (9). It also controls the oxidative damage caused by free radicals and reduces the stiffness of arteries, which lowers the risk of a heart attack (10).

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9. Helps In Weight Management

If you are looking to lose weight, consider adding dragon fruit to your diet.

Why This Works

Dragon fruit is low in calories and high in fiber (11). Since fiber cannot be digested, it keeps you full for longer and curbs excessive eating.

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Dragon fruit is not available easily

Image: Shutterstock

Selection And Storage

Dragon fruit is not available easily. As its cultivation is limited to tropical and subtropical areas, it needs to be imported to other countries.

When selecting dragon fruit, look for uniformity in color, and avoid the ones that have spots or have started browning. Also, see if the fruit has filled out properly. Dragon fruit should be stored in the refrigerator, where it stays fresh for two to three weeks. It should be stored in a cool place, else it may spoil.

The most popular way of consuming dragon fruit is by cutting it in half, and eating it right out of the rind.

Nutritional Data

Dragon fruit, which is a rich source of nutrients including vitamins C and B, iron, calcium, and potassium, is extremely beneficial for our health.

Nutritive value per 100 g of Dragon
PrincipleNutritive value
Total Fat0.61g
Protein0.229g
Ashes0.68g
Water83.0 g
Potassium436 mg
Calcium8.8g
Cholesterol0 mg
Dietary Fiber0.9g
Calories99

Interesting Things You Can Do With Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit, with its mildly sweet taste makes a great addition to fruit salads and smoothies.

Dragon Fruit Smoothie

What You Need

  • 1 cup dragon fruit pulp
  • 1 banana, chopped
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

What You Have To Do

  1. Blend all the ingredients in a blender to a smooth consistency with no chunks present.
  2. Serve in a tall glass with ice.

So, would you consider adding this amazing fruit to your diet? Share your opinion in the comments section below.

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  • http://www.stylecraze.com/members/jayshreebhagat/ Jayshree Bhagat

    looks yummy

  • Banaz

    I thought it would be very sweet and good but it doesn’t taste like anything but I honestly don’t care cause it has so much good benefits to it

  • Chitra

    I have never seen this fruit but amazed to know about the various health benefits it offers. This is very helpful atleast for those who are fortune enough to get this fruit. The smoothie recipe is like mouth watering. Hope if i find this in my near future, i will surely try this recipe.

  • Kriya

    Really an amazing article to read.Got to know so many benefits of a dragon fruit which i never knew before.Thank you

  • Sophie

    It tastes exactly like kiwi but less sour and more sweet! I’ve just had a pitaya (dragon fruit) for breakfast with a pink pulp – I’ve heard it’s much more flavoursome than the white pulp. Make sure it is ripe when you eat it else it will not taste of anything. Hope this helped x

  • RICE

    I really love the fruit so yummmmmmyyyy but expensive

  • navya rao

    chinas most commn foound fruit on roads ..gud to eat